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Is There Such A Thing As A Final Cut? 475

Posted by Zonk
from the this-post-to-be-re-edited-for-future-audiences dept.
heidi writes "There's an insightful article over at CNN's entertainment section about the tinkering of recent cultural history. Apparently, there is no such thing as a final draft any more, and author Todd Leopold does a great job of showing how this is revisionist history at its, well, oddest. Aside from the many examples he cites, such as the 'new' Capote novel and the changing of Star Wars to show that Greedo shot first, i can think of the 'new' Camus novel that i read a few years ago and the way that The Wizard of Oz had the 'ding dong the witch is dead' song edited out. In an era where our entertainment has come to define us and to fill, however (un)completely, the spiritual void that we inherited from the Boomers, messing with our stories isn't necessarily a positive thing, creative genius aside."
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Is There Such A Thing As A Final Cut?

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:44PM (#13897517) Homepage Journal

    Now that Geoge Takei [imdb.com] has come out [mercurynews.com], there will probably be some revision of Star Trek films [imdb.com] for some Red States, where it's still illegal to be a homosexual starship commander.

    "Make it the commander Ronald Reagan."

    • Here's a link that does not require registration:

      http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=8&id =353473 [japantoday.com]

      The article also mentions the time he spent in a U.S. internment camp.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:10PM (#13897806)
      Of course Han shot first. This whole "Greedo shot first" is nothing more than the opinion of George Lucas.

      So what if he wrote the story? After he tells the story to me, it exists in my brain. The version in my brain is under my control. It ends however I want it to end.

      Any well-told work transcends its author. To limit your interpretations of it to those in the mind of the author is to accept an outright blasphemous form of mental slavery.

      A free mind has many voices, both inner and outer, and the author of a work of art is just one more outer voice.

      Do not surrender your power.

    • by Simonetta (207550) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#13898194)
      In an era where our entertainment has come to define us and to fill, however (un)completely, the spiritual void that we inherited from the Boomers,...

          The Boomers inherited their "spiritual void" from the genocidal war that killed 70 million people a decade before they were born, and the 'Great War' twenty years before that slaughtered an entire generation of European males for nothing.
          Plus the boomers inherited an insane structure of military leaders on both sides of the Berlin Wall that were ready, willing, and able to burn the world and kill everyone over a minor disagreement of political doctrine.

          What is considered the 'spiritual void' of the Boomers is actually a reasonable and humanistic retreat from the religious cult of omnicide (the destruction of all human life on earth) that infused the leaders of the world when the boomers came to maturity.

          As for the sexuality of those who create the myths and plays of our culture, it is their concern. We admire the characters that they create, and respect the skills of the writers and actors that created them. If the actors wish to exclaim that an aspect of their personality, such as their sexuality, was an important aspect of their development of the character that they created, then fine.
  • Wha? (Score:5, Funny)

    by MoxCamel (20484) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:44PM (#13897518)
    There's an insightful article over at CNN's entertainment section...

    I recognize all of these words individually, but strung together like this they make absolutely no sense.

    (oh, and Han shot first...in bed.)

    Mox

  • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:45PM (#13897525) Homepage Journal
    "Movies are never finished, only abandoned."

    It's just not possible to get a movie -- or any artistic work, whether we're talking serious art or pop culture -- to the state where it's absolutely, 100% perfect. There's always some fine tuning, some tweaking, and at some point you have to say "That's it, we're done." It's not completely bug-free, but you've fixed all the big problems and you've gotta ship it sometime.

    But with re-releases, DVDs, special screenings, etc. (and sufficient funding), people have the opportunity to go back and do a director's cut, or release two versions of a film (one short enough for theaters, one for people who can hit "pause" and take a bathroom break in the middle), or go back and fix that embarrasment of a first novel that you wrote when you were young and didn't understand the craft of writing as well as you do now.

    Is this good or bad? I think it's neither. It's a tool. It can be used well, or used poorly. Sure, Lucas can go back and revise history so Greedo shoots first, but he can also go back and clean up the lousy compositing in the Rancor pit, fix the transparency in the Hoth battle sequences, etc.
    • "Movies are never finished, only abandoned."

      I used to say the same thing about software.

      An application is Beta until it's retired.

    • by shmlco (594907) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:04PM (#13897738) Homepage
      Yes, but the flip side applies. Did the director choose to remove the "Witch is dead" song in the DVD version of OZ? (I think not, since Victor Fleming died in '49.) As such, who are we to mess with his work?

      And where should we stop? Should we reprint and remove or rewrite politically uncorrect sequences and dialog from Anne Frank, Huck Finn, and Uncle Tom's cabin? I think not. Such revisionism hides whatever insights we might gain into the attitudes and social mores and culture of the time.

      And in the case of, say, SW (ANH), replacing scenes and effects MAY make the movie look better, but it's not as we remembered it, and we lose all appreciation of the techniques and the cinematic "state of the art" available at the time. I still cringe every time I see the new, improved Death Star "ring" explosion.

      • by Doctor Faustus (127273) <Slashdot@nOsPaM.WilliamCleveland.Org> on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:06PM (#13897760) Homepage
        Should we reprint and remove or rewrite politically uncorrect sequences and dialog from Anne Frank, Huck Finn, and Uncle Tom's cabin?

        As long as the original is still available, sure.
      • The "editing" of media due to what is called political correctness, is pushed by both ends of the political spectrum. Some don't like the "degradation" of women, some don't like the "degradation" of religion, especially christianity, some don't like smoking, some don't like the portrayal of "racial sterotypes", etc; etc;.

        You correct. It is getting out of hand. Personally, I'm sick of people being offended by one thing or another. Get the f^#k over it.
      • Did the director choose to remove the "Witch is dead" song in the DVD version of OZ?

        Are you sure that's what they're referring to? I think the summary is actually referring to the changes made after the first screenings of the Wizard of Oz in the theaters. Based on those screenings, the director chopped a LOT of footage, including a SECOND reprisal of "Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead" after the second witch melts.

        Looking at Amazon and the like, I can find no evidence that the first reprisal has been removed on
      • by fandog (900111) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:38PM (#13898104)
        Should we reprint and remove or rewrite politically uncorrect sequences and dialog...

        Political correctness is the new McCarthyism. The prosecution of thought-crime under the banner of 'diversity'. No art is sacred.

    • by BRock97 (17460) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:21PM (#13897918) Homepage
      "Sure, Lucas can go back and revise history so Greedo shoots first<snip>"

      You bet, that is Lucas' prerogative. You know what really grinds my gears, though? The fact that after Lucas does his new cut, the old ones are never to see the light of day. Outside of bootlegs, we will never see Greedo shoot first on DVD, or E.T. chased by gun toting F.B.I. agents. They will be stuck on a crappy medium (VHS) until those tapes stop working. Who even knows if the original 35mm prints are still saved.

      This leads to the lapses in history. I couldn't believe when I watched a show about how ground breaking the special effects in Star Wars were back in 1977 and all the clips were from the re-release! They even played the clip with the Death Star exploding with the new enegery ring! Ughhhh.... That wasn't 1977, that was a couple of years ago.

      Plus, it is only going to get worse. As the lack of creativity increases in Hollywood, you'll see more re-releases and remakes where the original is left in a dusty back-lot room someplace.
    • Is [re-cutting] good or bad? I think it's neither.

      (As with so many things) most of this controversy could be resolved merely by enforcing proper labeling. E.g. ET - The 2005 Revision ...which is, after all, just a matter of full disclosure. The goods being delivered have changed, thus their name should too.

    • Is this good or bad? I think it's neither. It's a tool. It can be used well, or used poorly. Sure, Lucas can go back and revise history so Greedo shoots first, but he can also go back and clean up the lousy compositing in the Rancor pit, fix the transparency in the Hoth battle sequences, etc.

      Bah, forget the process, some people just think that Lucus is a tool.

      I would tend to distinguish art from software, I don't want to see art subject to unnecessary revisions, software is generally much more utilitarian t
    • It's just not possible to get a movie -- or any artistic work, whether we're talking serious art or pop culture -- to the state where it's absolutely, 100% perfect. There's always some fine tuning, some tweaking, and at some point you have to say "That's it, we're done."

      Well, in some ways it's not about perfect, it's about what actually happened.

      And, things like removing a musical number from the Wizard of Oz is just plain ... odd. It's been around for, what, 60 years?

      The problem with making new cuts of lo

  • by karvind (833059) <karvind@gm a i l . c om> on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:46PM (#13897538) Journal
    Ask Apple [apple.com] :)
  • Absolutely!
  • by jkind (922585) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:48PM (#13897563) Homepage
    Did it make you cringe when you first heard one of your favorite songs used in a car commercial?? Damn you Modest Mouse, damn you...
    To me, the final cut for music should be when they put it out on CD.. , with alterations allowed when I pay to see the performer live...
    Not some 45 second edit of the song, playing the backdrop for a LandRover commercial.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:48PM (#13897566) Journal
    "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" was edited out of The Wizard of Oz? I don't get it. Why?
    • "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" was edited out of The Wizard of Oz? I don't get it. Why?

      Hillary Clinton got offended.
    • by aicrules (819392) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:54PM (#13897624)
      Hostess used the DMCA!
    • It's insensitive to Wiccans. And unactractive old women who are assumed to be evil witches.
    • by wowbagger (69688) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:00PM (#13897700) Homepage Journal
      The Anti-defamation League of Practitioners of the Magickal Arts (note: they are old school and demand the old spelling of "Magickal") threatened to sue over that scene, saying "It is hate speech. It encourages violence against our membership, and is emotionally painful our many members who have lost friends and loved ones to the deprivations of wandering, improperly supervised small children."

      When the MPAA and studio initially refused to comply, the ADLPotMA representative turned the MPAA lawyer into a newt - a change many felt was for the better.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:10PM (#13897810)
      I call BS, there's no mention of it being cut in:
      http://imdb.com/title/tt0032138/alternateversions [imdb.com]

      Not to mention, "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead" is #82 on the AFI's list of Top 100 Songs.

      What they do say is:
      "Original preview versions of "The Wizard of Oz" ran several minutes longer than the current version; These are the scenes that were cut or shortened to reduce the running time. These scenes were never included in any officially released version of the film: ...
      A scene where the four main characters return to the Emerald City with the witch of the west's broomstick (including a reprise of "Ding Dong, The Witch is dead!") was cut. Only the song survived; the footage no longer exists (except a shot or two that can be found in the theatrical trailer)."

      And according to wikipedia:
      "Originally, the crew returned to the Emerald City to a "hero's welcome", with everyone singing "The Wicked Witch is Dead". This too was cut after early previews. Footage of this scene no longer exists, except for a few frames seen in a later re-issue trailer."
    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:18PM (#13897890) Journal

      This [dvdtalk.com] is the best that I could find. I can't vouch for its veracity but I've never heard of bits being cut out of the Wizard of Oz.

      The bits that are left in the Wizard of Oz are bad enough! Am I the only one who thinks it is one of the most cynical films ever made? Examples include the 'good' witch saying "Only bad witches are ugly." When presenting the heart to the tin man, the Wizard says something like "The measure of our hearts isn't how much we love others, but how much others love us." I can't remember exactly what the formula is that the scarecrow recites when he gets his diploma, but I think it was the square of the hypoteneuse is equal to the sum of the other two sides. And that just isn't right.

      And that's just the obvious stuff. If you start looking at what really happens in the film... this poor woman finds someone drops a HOUSE on her sister crushing her, and then this same person goes on to steal her sisters most prized possession and rightful inheritance. That film is seriously nasty but put enough sugar on it and people think that it's all nicey nicey.
      • If you think that's cynical- you should see the interpretation of the original story in the light of certain political happenings of the times [prosperityuk.com]. You do know the story existed before it was a movie, right? And that the ruby slippers were originally silver?
      • The book, of course, included an allegory explaining why is was bad for America's currency to be on the gold standard, as we should adopt the sivler standard. The silver slippers became ruby slippers in the movie, but the gold brick road still led nowhere useful. L Frank Baum was an odd writer. The movie was cynical, to be sure, but I don't see that as a problem.

        Wizard of Oz: Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks t

      • by po8 (187055) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:39PM (#13898122)

        L Frank Baum's universe is quite ethically and morally complicated; a fact that is made full use of in the recent novel Wicked [amazon.com]. (Not one of my favorites, but that's neither here nor there.) In taking a story from Baum's long-running series out of context and transforming it into a screenplay, a great deal gets lost. It seems to me that Baum wanted us, at least as adults, to think about the kinds of things that concern you.

        That said, the Wicked Witch of the West is clearly not a nice person, nor a mentally stable one. She spends a lot of time trying to kill a child for the high crime of happening to be inside the house that fell on her sister. The rightful ownership of the ruby slippers is an interesting question, but I think we can safely guess that the Witch would not have used the magic power of the slippers to send Dorothy home and restore all Oz to peace, joy, and prosperity. The Witch died, after all, as an inadvertent result of setting Dorothy's highly flammable friend on fire. I'm OK with that.

      • by Jim_Callahan (831353) on Friday October 28, 2005 @02:13PM (#13898401)
        That's pretty appropriate, since it's a retelling of one of the most cynical books ever written. Beyond the often-noted indictment of the gold standard, it was pretty much written for the express purpose of turning up every inconsistency and weakness in human nature to the view of the reader.
         
        It does it pretty well, too. That's what makes it a classic, it says something about people in general, not just the specific people involved in the story and the targeted readership. The movie is the same, to a lesser extent.
  • Shakespeare... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jaylee7877 (665673) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:49PM (#13897570) Homepage
    Legend holds that Shakespeare *never* rewrote any of his plays or poems. He didn't even bother to cross out anything as he wrote. But then, we're not all Shakespeare's are we? Still I think there's something to be said for leaving well enough alone. When we change what we believe is a flaw, it also changes much of the original genius and beauty of a work.
    • Re:Shakespeare... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This legend is completely unfounded. There are many versions of most of Shakespeare's plays, and quite a few of them are considered to be revisions by himself.

      Not to mention that some works are collaborations and "borrowings" from other authors, which may have been reworked later, etc.
    • by jfengel (409917) on Friday October 28, 2005 @02:42PM (#13898604) Homepage Journal
      Shakespeare continually rewrote his plays. He adapted them for different actors and different venues, and abridged them in various different ways depending on the tastes of the times. He sometimes had to censor his texts when the rules demanded changes.

      I'm not sure what legend's source for "He didn't even bother to cross out anything as he wrote" is, but it's unfounded. No original Shakespeare manuscripts exist in his own hand.

      Most of his plays have several different versions, and when you go to perform one you have to pick which one you want to take as your base text. This is made harder by the fact that many of these these folios and quartos are reconstructions by the actors themselves, some of which are mistaken, but others changes represent times when Shakespeare himself edited the text.

      Hamlet, for example, is very different between the First Folio and Second Quarto editions. When Kenneth Branagh combined the two to make his movie, he was doing a Hamlet which Shakespeare himself probably never saw. He'd rewritten the play, and Branagh had combined two rewrites. Which one Shakespeare would have preferred is up for debate, but it certainly shows that Shakespeare did revisit his plays.

      I suspect legend's source is the fact that Shakespare was one prolific son of a bitch; he was cranking out works of genius almost faster than you could copy the things. He'd put out several plays a year at times. There are internal contradictions in the text that suggest that Shakespeare didn't revise quite as many times as he should have.

      And yes, IAASS (I Am A Shakespeare Scholar). I'm directing Merry Wives of Windsor right now, a play which certainly could have used a few more editing passes.
  • Pink Floyd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i.r.id10t (595143) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:49PM (#13897574)
    Well, there was that one Pink Floyd album released after The Wall...
  • by jeffvoigt (866600) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:50PM (#13897584)
    The Louvre announced that it was lowering the bustline of the Mona Lisa to attract more visitors.
  • 1984 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jimjamjoh (207342) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:51PM (#13897596)
    How prophetic Orwell was...
    • Re:1984 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aicrules (819392)
      However, this prophetic talent will be obscured greatly when the remake (and rewrite) of 1984 is done for the 30th anniversary.
    • >How prophetic Orwell was...

      What do you mean by that? We've always been at war with Eurasia. I may have to report you to MiniPax.

  • by dptalia (804960) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:52PM (#13897599) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of Connie Willis's book Remake [amazon.com] . In it acting is a dead profession. People merely edit films to create new releases. The main character has a job removing all references to smoking from Casablanca (I think it was Casablanca, maybe it was a different movie). Due to having cut out other unwanted material (such as violence, racism, drinking, etc) the movie was down to under 30 minutes in length.

    Unfortunately with political correctness becoming the norm, I don't see things like this not happening. Anti smoking advocates already scream if a movie shows a "good guy" smoking. How hard would it be to start protesting old movies that contain positive images of smoking?

  • What they have been showing of TV just isn't the same anymore. There's a whole lot of stuff involving Mongo that got cut out. Much of it is some of the funniest stuff in the movie.

    Sad really.
  • These are movies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by w.p.richardson (218394) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:52PM (#13897606) Homepage
    I would be much more concerned about the manipulation of the news footage we use to obtain information about what's going on in the world. Those who control that medium, control public opinion and can pacify the masses, whilst marginalizing dissent.

    As for movies, these are art - as the artist sees fit, they can muck about with their creations. Ownership though, can be a little fuzzy, if for example the rights are owned by a company and not an individual.

  • Uncompletely? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Shorty-dammit (555739) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:52PM (#13897613)
    Unpossible! Seriously, stop hiring 15 year olds as editors. Some of us actually paid enough attention in school to learn how to spell.
  • I'm all for director's cuts and special editions and all that. But what's with Lucas *re-titling* RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to INDIANA JONES AND THE ...

    This revisionist film-making has to stop.

    Sam

  • My guess is no because even the Pink Floyd album The Final Cut [wikipedia.org] was re-released/re-cut in 2004
  • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:55PM (#13897641) Homepage Journal
    From "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" (1F19)
    (Homer watches "Free Willy" at the hotel.)

    Homer: Jump, Free Willy. Jump! Jump with all your might!
    [on the TV, Willy jumps over a rock barrier as a little boy smiles, but a shadow looms on his face and the smile turns to fear]
    Woman: Oh, no. Willy didn't make it. And he crushed our boy!
    Man: Ew. What a mess.
    Homer: Ohh, I don't like this new director's cut.

  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:55PM (#13897644) Homepage Journal
    99.999% of the past is not just irrelevant, but harmful, in my opinion.

    Do we ever learn that politicians are liars?

    Do we ever learn that war is worthwhile?

    Do we ever learn to marry the right person at the right time?

    Do we ever learn to stop making video games about blockbuster movies?

    To me, change is good. As a society, my fellow citizens are more and more unable to adapt. Look at steel tariffs and help desk outsourcing.

    Our best 0.001% of anything never need changes. The rest is dust in the wind. Take an imperfect story, product or relationship and keep redoing it unitil it is perfect for the parties involved. Future generations should do the same.

    That's why I hate copyright, patents and government licensing.
    • The soulution is not to re-image the past to look like we knew what to do all along - it's to strive ahead and create new peices that show we've learned.

      Re-writing your first book is the stupidest idea ever. Just write a new one.
    • by sco08y (615665) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:44PM (#13898148)
      Sir, I tip my hat to your karma whoring abilities.

      Let's review this post:

      The title and hook use a trendy geek term "five nines" to make a sweeping and unsubstantiated generalization.

      The post is arranged as a series of bullets, rather than actual ideas. This way placid mods aren't compelled to think about what's being written.

      The bullets moan about the condition of society, which 99.999% of people agree with, and suggest that "change is good," which 99.999% of people also agree with. It sounds like a stump speech, but most /.ers have never heard a stump speech so they don't clue in.

      And he wraps it up by saying he hates IP, which 99.999% of /.ers agree with.

      None of it actually makes any sense but that doesn't matter to a karma whore!
  • oh sure (Score:4, Funny)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:55PM (#13897645) Homepage Journal
    Circumcision - one cut away from the final...
  • Connie Willis (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tony (765) on Friday October 28, 2005 @12:59PM (#13897682) Journal
    Connie Willis wrote about this years ago, in a novella called "Remake." In it, an angst-ridden young man working for some hollywood company digitally edits old movies based on the mores and whims of the whatever passes for political correctness. For instance, throughout most of the story, he's editing scenes in old movies, taking out all references to alchohol. He digitally changes drinks into... other things.

    It predates the Steven Spielberg South Park episode by several years, but otherwise is almost identical. Guns replaced with walkie-talkies. That's just funny.
  • by doombob (717921) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:00PM (#13897691) Homepage
    Just take a look at a few of this last years issues of Wired Magazine. A couple of the covers talk about the "remix culture." And articles on the inside are all about Creative Commons, Remixing ideas, Freeing IP (not addresses). Right now it seems culture is in an "unstable state." It like we want to try new things, but just can't seem to let go of the cultural items of the past. So we rework those things that are "safe" and "comfortable." Just give it a couple years for the influence of Baby Boomers to fade from entertainment, media, etc. and then we should have another influx of new ideas.
  • by Control Group (105494) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:00PM (#13897694) Homepage
    And there's the real victim of where we seem to be headed with intellectual property: our cultural history.

    Picture the broadcast flag, coupled with on-demand movies. Toss in changes of the medium du jour crippled with mostly effective DRM, and you're losing history left and right. There's a new release of, say, E.T. on Blu-Ray. Everyone (not literally everyone, of course, but you get the idea) replaces their old, worn-out VHS (or Beta, in the case of my parents) tapes. Now there's very little evidence that there were ever guns in the movie.

    Or pay-per-view/on demand becomes the common way of watching movies. The broadcast flag prevents keeping a copy, of course. So all you'll ever be able to see is the latest version of the movie. Hell, look at Dumbo: can you even buy a copy of the movie that still has the crows singing? They certainly don't show it on television.

    Or how about Aladdin? I can't be the only person who remembers the opening song's lyric containing a line about cutting off your hand for stealing a loaf of bread. But good luck proving that it ever even existed - to the best of my knowledge, that didn't even make into the first release of the movie to stores, much less subsequent ones.

    The more consumers lose control of the media they consume - not being able to make/keep copies, being forced into a subscription model of media delivery - the more this is going to happen. We've got the technical capacity right now to preserve a closer-to-perfect record of our culture than has ever existed in human history, and we're wasting it. It's being lost to political correctness, revisionist history, and George Lucas.
  • "A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking" --Martin H. Fischer
  • by Shimmer (3036) <brianberns@gmail.com> on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:05PM (#13897754) Homepage Journal
    This is nothing new. To give a serious example, Charles Darwin issued six different editions [wikipedia.org] of The Origin of Species during his lifetime. Each new edition contained material in response to reactions to previous editions. The phrases "evolution" and "survival of the fittest" were first introduced in these follow-on editions.

    Most of these changes improved the book, but some did not. So, which edition is "definitive"?
  • Lucas lost it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sir_Eptishous (873977)
    This is a shout out to any lame asses (you know who you are) who can \stomach\ episode IV with the ultra lame-dick \enhancements\ that were added. Get a life and watch the original. When I saw the "gee-wiz, look what I can do with FX" krap that was added, I almost blew chunks. Sure, deride me all you want you cultural cretins, but the original episode IV was a film making landmark, that Lucas in his divine SkyWalker Ranchette wisdom peed all over with his \enhancements\.
  • by OttoSink (815142) on Friday October 28, 2005 @01:07PM (#13897782) Homepage
    Back in the day (about 200 years ago) a composer like Beethoven revised his symphonies between performances. The idea of having a "final cut" probably grew out of the use of mass production to make copies. Given the Internet, we will probably see far fewer "final cuts" in the future.
  • Let's not forget Gillian's Brazil; completed edited ending which changed the whole tone of the story. The DVD box set is very illuminating just to see the 'original' vs the studio forced 'happy ending' version. As the old saying goes, the marriage of art and commerence is a an awkward one. Of course there will always be purests on the other side raising the red flag. For me it's the CD 'reissues' where they tack on 'bonus songs' after the original album, it's so frustrating! Think if they did a perfect
  • I think, just like software, other forms of media should have numeric version numbers. This way, when the "developer" ruins future releases, we can easily refer back to earlier, superior versions. /missing Journalism version 1.0

  • I don't mind when extra footage is available. I liked seeing the extra footage in "Lord of the Rings" extended version, for example. One of my favorite things to do is to watch the outtakes in the bonus material on a DVD. Some extra clips are good, some you can see why it was left out of the finished movie. A lot of times, I wish that I could play the movie with the option of adding back in those outtakes.

    I feel they should leave it to the viewer as to whether or not they want to see the original version
  • The ultimate revisionist history: Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org]
  • I understand The Sopranos film two versions of every scene, one for HBO and one for future syndication to broadcast televison. And we're all familiar with audio dubbing and pan-and-scan to create broadcast-ready versions of movies.

    Changes for DVD and theatrical re-issue are natural extensions of these alternations, made possible by the evolution of both the market for and technology of filmed entertainment.
  • Lucas, as the creator of "Star Wars", is allowed to do whatever his little billionaire heart desires, as far as "Star Wars" and his other films, including "THX 1138" and "American Graffiti", are concerned.

    If he chose to show, in a future episode (or a new TV series), that Han Solo and Princess Leia did "have a thing" and produce a child, who grows up to become another Jedi master, he could.

    The creator of original fictional characters has the license to do whatever he darn well pleases.
  • Oh come on, this is hardly new. Movies have been being colorized for years. How is that different from what is being done now? Well some of the directors sure claimed that color changed and ruined their artistic works, so I must consider it was a significant change.
  • the spiritual void that we inherited from the Boomers

    Well, I can see you're doing a good job of filling that in with stuff like GTA and gangster rap.

  • Look at the Hobbit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sir Pallas (696783) on Friday October 28, 2005 @02:39PM (#13898581) Homepage
    Even Tolkien did this -- though in a much more creative way -- blaming the changes in The Hobbit (first published in 1937) on the fact that Bilbo was lying about how he got the Ring and Gandalf had finally gotten the truth out of the fellow. Why? Because it was meant as a history (albeit fictional) and the history changed.

Byte your tongue.

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